India has been witnessing a retail boom in recent years, but never more so than in 2007.
India topped the AT Kearney's annual Global Retail Development Index in 2007, emerging as the most attractive market for retail investment.
The Indian retail market -- one of the country's fastest growing businesses -- is expected to grow from $350 billion to $427 billion by 2010.
Driven by changing lifestyles, strong income growth and favourable demographic patterns, Indian retail is expanding at a rapid pace. Some large players include Kishore Biyani's Food Bazaar, Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Fresh, Godrej Agrovet, the Aditya Birla Group's More and the Tata Group. The Bharti group too plans to enter this sector in alliance with the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart.
Organised retailing is growing at 20% a year and many Indian business houses and foreign retailers are salivating at the prospect of wooing the Indian middle class.
And despite the palpable excitement that sweeps urban India with malls mushrooming in every nook and corner, the retail revolution hasn't quite gripped Bharat, aka rural India, which explains why the share of the 'organised' retail is a low 4 per cent of the nation's total consumer spending. But this is expected to increase to about 15 to 20% with the entry of a number of corporates into the segment.
Image: Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani during a visit to a Reliance Fresh supermarket in Hyderabad. Photograph: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images
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